Author Gabbie Stroud has released her new book Teacher and spoken about how she believes the Australian education system needs to be reimagined to properly support its students and educators.
The Tathra Hotel was completely packed for the launch of her book on July 5.
She began the event by reading her book’s first chapter, becoming visibly emotional at times when detailing some of the hardships and humour in teaching a class on just one day, before being interviewed by Kate Liston-Mills.
When asked about what her thoughts were on how to fix the education system, she replied “I’m pretty good at answering this now”.
“We are trying to apply a business model to education and our schools. Schools are not like anything else, schools are schools,” Ms Stroud said.
She said there was nothing standard about the journey of learning and trying to lay a “blanket of standardisation” over schools stifled creativity, flexibility and “all things we know are good for us as professional teachers”.
Also, she said teaching was both a “science and an art”, but in Australia the focus had become just on it being a science, while if you ignored the art side of the profession then you do not have relationships with children.
“We require a dramatic re-imagining of what education can look like in Australia,” Ms Stroud said.
Ms Stroud also talked about how she wrote her book. After releasing her essay Teaching Australia on the Griffith Review, which became one of the literary magazine’s most-read essays, she was contacted by a publisher and offered a book deal.
For now she has plans for another book, which will be set in a school, and will enjoy spending time with her two children.
At the launch Ms Liston-Mills said she had also believed teaching was her calling, but had to leave the profession due to bad experiences.
“Teacher is genuinely one of the best books I have read in a really long time,” Ms Liston-Mills said.
“I kept thinking with every page flipped, oh my god, this was me, this was me.”